Coconut oil is often called “the healthiest oil on earth” and “the miracle oil” and for good reason. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is made up of medium-chain fatty acids which are easily absorbed by the body. The lauric acid found in coconut oil also gives it anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties which helps strengthen the immune system and fight disease. Most notably, coconut oil helps boost the metabolism and aids in stimulating and balancing the thyroid gland.
Coconut oil’s ability to nourish thinning, brittle, dry hair is unparalleled. The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows it to be easily absorbed into the hair shaft and scalp, and its high moisture retaining capacity improves the condition of hair, making it soft and preventing breakage. Coconut oil also strengthens hair follicles and by doing so, stimulates hair growth.
For a deep monthly conditioning treatment, warm up or liquefy coconut oil, massage it through your hair, wrap your hair in a do-rag or shower cap, and sleep with it on over night. In the morning wash it out. For a quick and easy weekly pre-conditioning treatment, massage warm or liquefied coconut oil into your hair 30-45 minutes before washing.
Like many of the essential oils, coconut oil helps soothe and repair skin tissue. Coconut oil forms a protective barrier to hold in moisture and penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin, keeping it supple. Patting a little coconut oil under your eyes before you go to bed at night helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Putting a few tablespoons in your bath also helps keep your skin well-moisturized, as will massaging it into your skin after you shower. This is especially helpful during the winter months.
Make sure to use only organic or virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil does not have the same fatty acid profile necessary to do the job properly and it has far fewer proteins and minerals than its organic and virgin counterparts. You can also reap the benefits of coconut oil by taking it internally. Coconut oil can be taken by the spoonful as a daily supplement or you can add it to things like coffee, tea, oatmeal, and smoothies. It makes an excellent cooking oil and can be substituted for shortening in baked goods as well.
The healing properties of coconut oil are far-reaching and varied. Perhaps this is why African, Asian, and Polynesian cultures have relied on it for centuries to cure disease and to maintain beautiful, luminous skin and thick, luscious hair. Try adding coconut oil to your health and beauty arsenal and start reaping its miraculous benefits today!